Portfolio

Harry Stone

Professor Claire Laville

English 101, 8:00 AM

8 December 2014

Portfolio

Essay Revision Number 1: Modern Investigations

An Investigation of Investigations:

How Our Police Force Uses Flawed Techniques to Crack Cases

If you’ve ever seen the classic family Christmas comedy, Home Alone, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that only idiotic criminals like the “Wet Bandits,” are crazy enough to intentionally leave a “calling card” behind after committing a crime that could potentially land them right in the clink. No, that would never happen, it’s nothing more than movie magic that draws crowds to the theater. Nowadays, criminals can commit national and global crimes and authorities would not have the slightest clue who committed the crime or what his/her motivation was due to the sophistication of criminals and technology that exists today. As criminals become more and more sophisticated police are only getting further behind in the never-ending cat and mouse chase between both sides of the law. You may wonder why I am discussing any of this, well, it’s because as I was reading Carlo Ginzburg’s, “Clues: Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes,” the other day I realized why our authorities are quickly losing the war on crime: they are focusing on the clues a criminal would leave as opposed to the characteristics the police and the criminal would not ever think about. Ginzburg so cleverly points out that everyone has odd tendencies distinguishing them from anyone else on the planet that they cannot hide no matter how hard they try, and if police focused on looking for evidence of those characteristics instead of minor slip-ups that any criminal with access to CSI New York would know to avoid making, they would have a much higher likelihood of success.

The first aspect of law enforcement that Ginzburg indicates could benefit from this style of thinking, is distinguishing a counterfeit piece of art from an actual piece of art. He begins by describing Giovanni Morelli’s, a famous art critic, method for determining if a painting is a counterfeit or not, which he dubbed the “Morelli Method.” The Morelli method is simple, when determining the legitimacy of a painting, never focus on “the most obvious characteristics of the paintings,” because “these could most easily be imitated,” instead, you should focus on the minuscule and intricate characteristics or tendencies of the artist, because these will be absent from even the best fake. You may think this method seems silly, but in actuality, it is what doctors use every day to diagnose illnesses, primarily mental, and it has proven very effective in other fields over the years. When a patient goes to see a doctor about how they are not feeling well, the doctor immediately begins to examine the symptoms the patient is experiencing to determine what the illness is. The problem is, that a lot of illnesses share similar symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, a high temperature, the chills, headaches, stomach pains, and many many more, which means that without a very clear understanding of the assorted illnesses it would be nearly impossible to distinguish between different illnesses, which mean you cannot correctly prescribe medication, which means things don’t always end well for the patient. Doctors must use a method similar to that of Morelli to determine if a patient has the flu, a bad cold, or is showing early symptoms of lead poisoning, because all are treated entirely differently, but show very similar characteristics. Even Freud used this methodology while he was studying patients and actually described how what is “beneath notice” is the most important aspect of psychoanalysis because absent knowing the full reasoning behind someone’s (especially a criminal) thought process, it is nearly impossible to understand why they did what they did (Ginzburg).

It is this method of psychoanalyzing criminals that police could greatly benefit from using. Think of how much more effective our police force could be if we could get into the mind of a criminal and think about all of the possible reasons he or she did what he or she did and how he or she did it? Now, you may be thinking, “well, that’s great, but this is pretty difficult to do given that the police will only see the aftermath of a crime,” but Ginzburg has a solution to that too. To answer this question, Ginzburg makes the obvious comparison between police work and hunting, but then takes it a step further. While Ginzburg makes the obvious comparison between tracking an animal and tracking a human that you are likely thinking of, ie, looking at foot prints, trails of blood, feces, hair, feathers, or whatever else an animal or criminal leaves behind, he takes this search a step further. He says that an expert hunter will “reconstruct the appearance and movements of an unnecessary quarry” in an effort to “give meaning and context to the slightest trace,” thus recreating the entire scene to fully understand what happened. This same concept of reconstruction is exactly what police officers need to use. Rather than just looking for typical “clues,” that any average Joe criminal would leave, to stop the great criminals, police officers much provide “meaning and context” to the clues to truly get inside criminal’s minds.

If you’re still not convinced that this method of detective work is what our archaic police forces need to adopt, Ginzburg points out that the greatest detective to ever live, fictional or real, Sherlock Holmes, swore by this method of detective work. While the rest of the police force would analyze the obvious clues, Holmes would go a step beyond them and think of how a criminal’s past could influence his or her future decisions, or how miniscule characteristics such as the shape of one’s earlobe could lead to another potential culprit that the other detectives wouldn’t even know existed.

I am not writing this article as a critique of our current police force, because I applaud their detective work, work that I certainly couldn’t handle, but rather I am writing this to explain why the more complex cases are consistently stumping our police force. Not every criminal is going to be like Harry from Home Alone, they won’t always intentionally leave a trail behind just to leave a presence, so police officers and detectives everywhere need to adapt to a more intelligent era of crime or suffer the consequences.

Work Cited

Ginzburg, Carlo. “Clues: Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes.” The Sign of Three: Dupin, Holmes, Pierce. Ed. Umberto Eco, Thomas A. Sebeok. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983. 81-118. Print.

Essay Revision Number 2: The Education System

Slacking Leads to Resourcefulness

The Chronicle recently published “The Shadow Scholar” by Ed Dante, a pseudonym for a writer paid to write essays for slacking college students, critiquing the modern education system for neglecting student’s needs, thus forcing them to turn to outside sources to write their essays, but I think Dante has it all wrong. The education system should certainly not be critiqued for its neglectful response to student’s need of writing help, in fact, it should be praised! If it weren’t for the flawed education system, our country’s students would be far less resourceful, which is a characteristic that is almost nonexistent in universities nowadays. Dante falsely critiques these students for being lazy, rich, and moronic, when they should be being praised for being so resourceful.

Dante said that he catered to three primary types of students, incompetent students, lazy rich kids, and ESL students, but his favorites were by far the lazy rich kids. The lazy rich kids were not necessarily incompetent writers, in fact they often had targeted and specific instructions for Dante and were willing to pay top dollar for him to meet their expectations. Although he argues that these lazy rich kids were simply banking on their daddy’s money getting them through life and that the education system failed them because it never forced them to think for themselves, I argue that this is a load of malarkey, and in all actuality the education system has simply set them off on a track for success. While it would appear that these students are just horrendously lazy, I believe that they are simply developing time management strategies that the straight-A “geniuses” are too stupid to ever adopt. When Dante sees lazy rich kids, I see students who prioritize the more important aspects of college such as shot-gunning PBRs with their buddies at tailgating parties over useless assignments like honors theses or papers for “a masters degree in cognitive psychology, a Ph.D in sociology, and a handful of postgraduate studies in international diplomacy.” I think Dante is struggling to see the forest through the trees, because although the education system fails to teach the future leaders of our country how to construct a coherent sentence, or accomplish any work on their own, or teach students who literally can’t speak English how to write the 20 page research papers it so abruptly demands of them, it does an excellent job of teaching time-management skills, resourcefulness, and metacognitive skills.

These students who have supposedly been failed by the education system and are forced to hire others to write their essays for them are actually just students who went through a metacognitive process and determined that they are bad at writing, and therefore use their resourcefulness to develop a solution to their problem so that they can spend more time doing what they do best: getting wasted! Absent this supposedly flawed education system America’s students would not be blessed with this beautiful resourcefulness that is a necessary component of being a top level professor, business(wo)man, scientist, doctor, artists, musician, athlete, or any other career. Dante claims that he chose to write this article because after year after year of writing essays for students who can hardly spell their own name due to such a neglectful education system, he finally lost it and thought that something needed to be said to create a change. To better understand what leading institutions in the country thought about the article, we interviewed some of the top professors in the country. When asked about his opinions of the recent article, Dr. Paul Spellman, published professor of Behavioral Genius at a random community college in Mississippi was appalled at Dante’s piece and was quoted saying, “Never have I ever read such a naïve article in my life! Dante clearly has not had an up-close and personal experience with the genius that is, cheating, and he should think twice before throwing around such idiotic accusations again.” I think Dante’s push for an educational reform will simply cause the brightest students our country has to lose track of what is important and begin prioritizing their essays over their partying, thus reducing their incentive to be resourceful. While Dante believes that his article will create a positive change that will lead to better future leaders, I think this article simply disincentivizes creative thinking and resourcefulness that we as a society claim to support. I think by publishing this rubbish article, Dante single-handedly caused the downfall of our excellent education system, which will in turn create idiotic leaders, and will likely cause a collapsed economy, global war, and who knows what else.

Essay Revision Number 3: Gender Studies

Ewwwww Cooties!: How Women and Men Differ in Their Cinematic Portrayals

Although the classic 1959 romantic comedy, Pillow Talk, might seem to be just that, a romantic comedy, it is so much more. If you have never seen the movie, Pillow Talk, it is a hilarious rom-com portraying lives of Brad Allen, played by Rock Hudson, and Jan Morrow, played by Doris Day, who have a shared party phone-line and just can’t seem to get on the same page. Brad Allen is your stereotypical suave lady-killer who seemingly never stops seducing attractive women over the phone, while Jan Morrow is an independent interior decorator who is driven up the wall by Allen’s inconsiderate use of the telephone. Director Michael Gordon expertly weaves together their two entirely different lives and creates a clever take on the classic hate turned to love story. Entertainment aside, what makes this movie so interesting is it’s portrayal of men and women and the different roles and stereotypes associated with being a man vs. being a woman, and primarily the sexist attitude toward women at the time. Although the study of gender roles in films has certainly been discussed before, I think this movie provides the opportunity for a unique discussion of gender studies that other articles have excluded.

What makes this movie such an excellent piece to analyze is it’s usage of the split screen to provide an extremely clear depiction of the lifestyles of the two characters and how they differ and interact. I will first focus on Brad Allen’s house, which is a traditional bachelor’s pad. When looking at Brad’s apartment, you immediately notice a dark color scheme on the walls, with lots of greens and browns as well as bare brick, often with dead animals mounted on them, dark leather chairs and couches, a bar, and complex electronics and electronic systems, many of which are designed exclusively to provide easy access to a romantic environment with a comfortable bed. The dark color scheme and dead, mounted animals indicate that this apartment is supposed to be a manly environment, which is enhanced by the other amenities of Brad Allen’s apartment. The brown chairs and the bar are textbook elements of a mancave, and the romantic electronic trickery is just the icing on the cake. Turning the lights off, playing romantic music, and producing a bed, all at the flick of a switch? Although that may not be the largest turn-on for the women he brings back to his apartment, this fancy set-up definitely improves Brad Allen’s ability to score, making it ideal for his apartment. Finally, he keeps a large piano front and center that he uses to write songs as well as romance women. In contrast, Jan Morrow’s apartment is what you would stereotypically expect from an independent, female, interior decorator. He house was painted in bright and pleasant pastel colors with a lot of white accouterments filling the apartment. Her apartment had nice mirrors and ruffled curtains and pretty plants to add some decoration. And most importantly, her bathroom is large and well equipped for Jan to participate in her daily toilette. By using the split screen view of these two apartments side-by-side, the viewer is able to see how starkly the stereotypes of a woman and a woman’s apartment contrast with those of a man and a man’s apartment.

While watching the movie, I believe that there are two specific examples of this split screen view that best depict the dichotomy between two different apartments and their respective stereotypes. The first is when Jan, Brad, and Brad’s lover are all on the phone at the same time and the screen is divided up into three triangles, one for each of them. In the lover’s and Jan’s triangles, the colors in the backgrounds consists of pretty purples and blues, lots of nice pillows, bright blue bookcases, and pretty plants and flowers. In contrast, Brad’s apartment consists of a dark brown wooden piano, brown walls with old traditional paintings hung on them, and dark lighting everywhere. When looking at this picture, the hue of colors takes a dramatic shift from Jan’s apartment to Brad’s apartment. This contrast is also starkly visible during the bathtub conversation scene, where the scene is split between Jan’s bathroom with her in the tub, and Brad’s bathroom with him in the tub. On Jan’s side of the screen, her wallpaper is a pretty pale blue design, she has a brighter color brown shower curtain with her initials monogramed into them in blue, and she has jars of assorted shampoos and body washes on the edge of the bathtub. In Brad’s bathroom however, his wall is designed with grey tile and a picture of some leaves, he only has soap, and his curtain is a plain dark brown. These stark contrasts are representative of the stereotypes of women and men respectively.

In an effort to find an explanation behind the different portrayals of men and women in this movie, I began doing research about the reasoning behind the bachelor pad depicted in the film and stumbled across and outstanding article by Jessica Sewell titled, “Unpacking the Bachelor Pad,” that describes why men have this desire to create a bachelor pad like Brad’s. Well, according to Sewell, men during the 1950s had a desire to lash out against women, who were considered controlling, and design an apartment to be the antithesis of what a woman would like. This concept is especially perpetuated in Pillow Talk through the assorted interactions Jan and Brad have, in which Jan tries to act rationally and proposes plans to Brad on how to share the phone, but instead of cooperating, Brad gets sassy and defensive and deems Jan’s requests as nothing more than nagging, and therefore lashes out and uses the phone even more. Although all of these different interactions and portrayals of Jan and Brad’s relationship are important, the most significant event in the movie as far as gender roles are concerned comes at the very end. After Brad tricks Jan into a romantic relationship and Jan finds out, Jan gets really upset and refuses to continue the relationship, but somehow, by the end of the movie Jan and Brad end up in bed together. This ability for the man to seduce the woman after behaving in a terrible fashion demonstrates how women are portrayed as controlled by the man, and how if the man doesn’t get exactly what he wants, he will just behave in an inappropriate manner until he does.

Although this film is over 50 years old, these gender role stereotypes are still very much a part of modern society and Pillow Talk is one of the best examples possible for clearly portraying these gender roles. I hope this will increase your awareness of these gender roles so that you can identify them and avoid them yourself, because they force women into the role of a nagging nuisance who is able to be controlled to do whatever the man pleases with enough prodding.

Essay Revision Number 4: Facebook Usage

The Power of Facebook: How One Post Can Change the World

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s how powerful of a tool Facebook is in provoking social change, so when news of a local dognapping spread, Facebook users around the country made sure to tell people. I was so moved by the constant posts of miscellaneous news articles telling me that poor little Doge was taken from his estate in Texas that I nearly broke into tears. I was so happy that everyone felt compelled to show me that they read the news, it was just so overwhelming. Absent the moving posts on Facebook, social change would be non-existent. I mean, when Hurricane Big Boi leveled Florida, Facebook users were so upset that they began posting videos of themselves standing in the rain to demonstrate how they felt the same suffering those in Florida felt. If that’s not social change, I don’t know what is. I’m just thrilled there is such a good platform for creating change and conversation.

As the search continues to return Doge to his owner, local Dallas billionaire, Jeff Franks, Facebook users continue to voice their opinions. Here are some of the more meaningful posts we have collected over the past day: Chote social activist Jimmy says, “Look at this news article about Doge, I just wish I could do something,” Bel Air Academy head cheerleader Rachel says, “I love Doge soooo much! This is just so sad! Like, I can’t even!” Columbia sophomore James says, “I am just so upset by Doge’s kidnapping that I am going to let my dog run away from me in Central Park so I know how it feels.” Those are just three of several million posts by concerned citizens. James’s release of his dog tugged at so many heartstrings that dog lovers around the country began to lock their dogs up in cages with muzzles on and no food and water and vowed to keep them there until Doge is returned in and effort to protest the mistreatment dogs in this country. The efforts to spread word of the terrible mistreatment of dogs by kidnappers in this country has been mitigated though by contrarians starting fights all over Facebook. With each post by someone expressing their angst over the recent dognapping comes a slew of angry arguments in the comments feed. My Facebook wall is filled with my assorted college and high school peers making sure their thoughts about everyone else’s opinions are heard. While these arguments may seem to slow down the process of finding doge, it is so helpful to bicker back and forth in comment feeds while angering all your friends on Facebook. Although all that anger may seem silly at first, everyone knows it will eventually translate into positive social change. As soon as national news sources like CNN and NBC get ahold of these Facebook comment threads, and they relay them to the government, the headlines practically write themselves. “Local 18-year old kids at East High School End all Animal Cruelty World Wide,” “16 Year Olds in New Jersey Stop World War 3 With Self-Expressive Comments on Facebook,” “Outraged 20-year old Students at Family Money University End Poverty With Heated Facebook Conversation.” The headlines are endless, the change is not.

Although some experts might claim that rather than conversing about each other’s opinions on Facebook, people should donate money, food, water, shelter, or in the case of poor Doge, their time to search, to those in need, those experts are extremely misled. Think about it. It is far more productive to lock one’s dog up in protest and post a status about it than it is to help search for the lost dog, and it saves a lot more lives by spreading the word of the pain experienced by those whose lives were uprooted by Hurricane Big Boi via a video of one in the rain than sending care packages. Frank Mickelson, local dog lover in Texas said that “I think that rather than taking a few hours out of my hectic schedule of eating BBQ and watching UT Football this weekend to help find Doge, my time is better spent by posting videos of me angrily yelling about the mistreatment of dogs.” This is just such a clear example of one of the many ways Facebook can be used as a tool for reform as opposed to simply a social media site.

Although Doge was never found, it was certainly not due to the lack of effort from Facebook users across the country. People tried their darndest to make their opinions known by locking their dogs in cages without food and water for days at a time, but the only change that happened was a massive spike in doge malnutrition issues. At least these dog’s anorexia is for a worthwhile cause, and people will know in the future to take better care of their dogs.

Why I chose the blogs I did:

The four blogs I chose to revise were my Facebook Representation blog, my Investigations blog, my Bachelor Pad blog, and I re-revised my already revised “Shadow Scholar” blog. One of the primary reasons I selected these blogs is that I felt like they were four of the most interesting topics we discussed throughout the course and I thought that given the guidelines for the portfolio they provided me with the most material. I felt like the Facebook blog was interesting because instead of talking about how I use Facebook like I did in my original blog, I morphed the blog into a satire about how Facebook is used by people today. I didn’t want my blog to just be a basic description of what I like to do on Facebook, because that is not a very exciting piece to read, which is why I chose to change it into satire. I liked the Bachelor Pad blog because I could turn what was initially a simple comparison between the movie, Pillow Talk, and an article about the bachelor pad by Jessica Sewell, into an analysis of gender studies and how they are portrayed in film, which is essentially a more in depth and specific version of my initial blog. I thought the Investigation blog was a good one to discuss because it is a really fun and interesting topic that can be applied on a larger scale in an article setting to create a larger impact than just a short analysis in my blog. Finally, I chose the “Shadow Scholar” blog because I thought it was a really interesting topic that is especially pertinent to a college student and that I can turn that blog into a satire to make it more appealing to some readers, yet still get the intended message across. As far as how I went about revising the blogs, I began by re-reading my blogs to determine which blogs I thought I wanted to revise. After determining which blogs to revise, I decided which topics from each blog I wanted to revise. I then began reading articles from the different news sources we were supposed to mimic to learn how they portray their articles. After selecting which news sources I wanted to replicate, I revised my blogs according to their different styles trying to keep a similar topic to my original blog. Although I thought there were several good blogs I could have revised, I thought those 4 blogs gave me the most material to work with and were the blogs that I found most interesting.

Collaborative Composition:

I enjoyed using collaborative composition as a means to improve my writing and help others improve their writing. I particularly enjoyed providing comments as a peer reviewer because it allowed me to read over my peer’s work and figure out what they wrote about and how they wrote about it, and how my writing differed from theirs. It also gave me the ability to provide, hopefully, insightful feedback for other students to use, and recognize what I liked about their writing and didn’t like about their writing and then apply those concepts to my own. I also found it helpful that my peers would comment on my work too thus allowing me to get a new opinion on my writing. Reviewing my own work can sometimes be rather difficult because after writing a piece the last thing I want to do is discover all of the bad aspects of it and then spend time changing them and tearing apart the work I spent so long completing. By working in a setting where other kids review my work I am able to get that advice from a third party, which makes it easier to change. I also find that there are sometimes parts of my piece that I like and I therefore think others will like, when in all actuality others don’t, and absent that peer review process I would have never known. I think group work was excellent at providing me with that extra evaluation that we ordinarily wouldn’t get by just reviewing our own pieces. I think my writing has become more concise because I have tried to condense longer analyses into a blog length piece, which can be difficult for me to do. My primary shortcoming is that I often write long wordy pieces that could easily be cut down with more revisions, which this peer review process and the blog process has really helped with. By being constricted by a 500-word blog post, I am forced to condense my writing and make sure that I only get the most important elements out of my writing and get rid of all of the fluff. I think this has improved my writing because now it is more concise. I believe that my reading habits have also improved because my annotation quality has increased. I primarily found the reading of the Ginzburg piece helpful in improving my reading habits.

 

12/5 Blog Post – The Giver

In this course, Technology and the Senses, many of the texts we studied and the ensuing discussions revolved around futuristic or alternate societies, like a world where people could fall in love with their operating systems (Her), or a world without food (Soylent). We also had thought provoking discussions revolving the different the different senses and what affect different sensations had on the mind and body. In addition to the various texts, films, ads, etc. that we have examined this year in relation to English 101, I would suggest adding the book, The Giver, by Lois Lowry to the required reading list for this course.

The Giver is set in a society void of emotion, feeling, choice, and color. The society is all about rigid order, peace, and sameness. While there are no negative sensations in this society like pain or war or hunger, there are also no positive sensations, such as music and passion and color and joy. Nobody in this society has individual identity or freedom of expression. However, one member of the society is responsible for keeping the ‘memories of the past’ in order to ensure that history is not repeated. This person has a lens into what normal life could used to look like – the memories he or she keeps range from memories of sunburns and sleigh rides to romantic love and death. This person protects the other members of the society by taking the whole burden of past memories and feelings. The protagonist, Jonah, has been selected to be the keeper of memories. He soon realizes how miserable and bland his society is and yearns to escape to a more colorful and exciting life where he’d have free choice and be able to experience extremes, both good and bad.

The theme of sensation and the relationship between pain and pleasure is very prominent throughout The Giver. Reading and discussing this text in class would have enhanced existing discussions relating to senses and sensation had it been included as part of the course. Lowry’s novel emphasizes the importance of physically experiencing things such as touch, sound, and sight and shows the reader what life would be like with very limited sensation and freedom. Also, as mentioned above, The Giver takes place in an alternate society, a world with no depth – something else we have studied in English this semester. It can be beneficial to discuss alternate societies, that have different customs, values, and beliefs than that in which we live, in order to get a better idea about one’s own culture.

I think that if our class had read The Giver this semester, or at least seen the movie, we could have had interesting and thoughtful discussions that would have added to the class as a whole and helped people realize the importance of sensation and advancement, whether it is technological or societal.

Historical Ad Object

grafBH1942 BH1400

When nail polish was first invented in around 3000 B.C., it was used for very different purposes than it is used for today. Back then, it was used by men and women in many different societies to distinguish between social classes. Now, it is used by women predominately for fashion purposes. Nail polish started to gain popularity in the fashion industry during the late 1930’s once companies began producing and advertising colored polishes. In this essay, I plan to examine this rise to popularity by analyzing the advertisements created during this time period.

The first advertisement I chose to examine is for Graf’s Hyglo nail polish powder from The New York Times on March 21, 1915. Although this advertisement isn’t for colored nail polish, I felt that it was important to look at because it plays a role in how colored nail polish advertisements were created. At the top of the page, in large print, the advertisement reads, “Exquisite Nails” and then there is a picture of a thin female hand with well-groomed nails. Directly following the picture, the advertisement gives the name of the company and the product in large print. In much smaller print at the bottom of the page, it gives a description of what the product does and how to buy it. The description at the bottom of the advertisement and the picture of the hand make it clear that the company is targeting a female audience. By placing a female hand in the center of the advertisement instead of a man’s hand or a more ambiguous looking hand, Graf is attempting to draw attention from the women reading the paper, not the men. In the paragraph describing what the polish does, the adjectives used seem to be chosen in order to entice women into buying the product. The polish is described as a “brilliant, transparent, lasting polish, delicately perfumed, daintily tinted and absolutely waterproof”. The words delicate and dainty stand out because they are uniquely feminine. Most women aspire to be described as delicate and dainty, whereas most men would rather be described as tough and strong. I think that this is the most compelling part of the ad, as it plays on women’s desires to be feminine. If Graf put a bigger emphasis on these adjectives rather than “exquisite nails”, I think that the rhetoric appeals of the advertisement would be more successful.

Revlon was the first company to create and advertise colored nail polish. The first advertisement I found is from 1945 and is advertising four new shades of matching nail polish and lipstick. It is important to note that the advertisement was created during World War II because it alludes to the war in many ways. The background picture of the advertisement is a very elegant looking woman wearing Revlon’s products with a large fluffy white poodle by her side. The advertisement gives the names of the new shades, which are “dynamite, pink lightning, cherry coke, and rosy future”. In large print, the advertisement reads, “Colors that change the ‘outlook’ of a nation!”. The description of the product in smaller print really focuses on America and changes in the country. For example, it claims that the shades “capture the mood of the moment” and that they are “keyed so cannily to the tempo and times of American taste”. All of the shades relate to war and American patriotism in different ways. Both dynamite and pink lightning refer to the sounds of war, while cherry coke and rosy future refer to American pride. I think that Revlon chose this strategy of advertising because of how the responsibilities of women changed during the war. Women began working in positions that had previously been reserved for men. Some women even served in the Army. I think that the advertisement tries to mirror this sense of feminine strength and capability. It claims that the shades will “dramatize the innermost YOU” and that they are “pace setters”. Revlon is linking their products with American pride in order to sell their product.

The final advertisement was made in 1950 for Avon’s collection of 13 lipstick and matching nail polish shades. A close-up picture of a beautiful woman wearing nail polish and lipstick that match the rose that she is holding takes up the majority of the ad. There is also a description of the collection at the bottom, followed by an illustration of each lipstick and it’s matching nail polish. The italics used in the description are meant to draw the reader’s attention to certain phrases. The three phrases that Avon chose to italicize are, “feels so good”, “doesn’t dry your lips” and “wears beautifully”. This shows that Avon is really focusing on product quality and glamour in this ad. They also emphasize the versatility of the product by showing how the different shades would look good on different people and with different outfits.  The woman wearing the products is also a symbol of glamour because she is wearing huge diamond earrings and her makeup is done perfectly. The rose she is holding symbolizes love and classic beauty.

Looking at these three advertisements together, it is clear why the nail polish industry has been completely dominated by women. While there is nothing inherently gendered about nail polish, most companies have never tried advertising towards men. Take Graf’s Hyglo nail polish powder for example. It is clear from their advertisement that they are targeting women, yet their polished isn’t even colored.   By only targeting this female audience, they miss out on the potential market of men who would use this clear polish because they want well-groomed nails. The second advertisement by Revlon is also targeting women, but in a different way. Compared to the first ad, the second advertisement is targeting a much stronger, more independent woman. However, we must consider that a lot of men were away at war when it came out. While the men were at war, the role of women in America changed considerably. So I think it is fitting that the advertisement by Revlon targets a much more powerful and influential woman than Graf’s dainty and delicate woman. The third advertisement by Avon resembles the first advertisement in the sense that it is targeting a much more passive and submissive woman. Although the three advertisements may differ in how they try and appeal to women, they all have one thing in common. All three advertisements focus on women’s insecurities by targeting women who might be vulnerable about their appearance. These nail polish advertisements try to entice women by making them think that they must have the nail polish in order to be perceived as beautiful.

Works Cited:

  1. “Avon Brings You 13 Shades in Color-last Lipstick and Matching Nail Polish” Advertisement. 1950. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.
  2. “Exquisite Nails” Advertisement. The New York Times 21 Mar. 1915. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 12 Sep. 2014.
  3. Revlon Products Corporation. “Colors that Change the ‘Outlook’ of a Nation!” Advertisement. Sunday News. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.

Historical Advertising Study

This is not a specific analysis of advertisements for Nintendo Entertainment System, but rather all consoles that appeared in the same time period since they shared similar qualities and their companies used similar tactics in order to market the consoles during the early years of personal computing and gaming.

 

One of the most important aspects of video games is to immerse the player; make it feel as if they are really there inside of the game. This is because one of the primary attractions for video games are as an escape from reality, and the more convincing the game environment is, then the more immersion and enjoyment will come out of the video game. Immersion in today’s video games are primarily achieved through compelling storylines, realistic characters, and realistic graphics, but in the 1980s we were stuck with simple arcade games such as galaga and pac man due to technological constraints and the infancy of a new technology. The goal then was the same goal as now, namely immersion, but with just a few pixels floating across a machine it raises the question as to how marketers for these early arcade games could compare the virtual world to the real world while also targeting certain audiences for their games. This billboard shows an example of multiple targeted audiences, as well as a parallel between reality and the virtual world. The most important thing to note is that in the game Mrs. Pac Man, Mrs. Pac Man does not look like this. She looks like this, with a more common depiction outside of the game being this. With the large, poofy scarf and sexualized features of a bow, hair, eyeliner, blush, lipstick, eyebrows, gloves, high heels, and long legs (note, pac people do not have legs), it’s obvious that Mrs. Pac Man has been likened to a model, though comedically so. Of course, it is highly doubtful marketers attempted to raise a sexual attraction to Mrs. Pac Man, but more rather liken her to a human being, blurring the lines between real and virtual for the children of the world. Pac people are given human features (the most desirable ones, at least), which draws them closer to real people. Another notable aspect is that this billboard is for Mrs. Pac Man, rather than the original Pac Man, which is likely an attempt to appeal to the female gender, a largely unrepresented demographic of the gaming population. This billboard shows that the association with men and gaming is outdated, since the woman of the year, implying modern times, was Mrs. Pac Man.

 

This next advertisement for the Game Boy Pocket Color appeared over a decade after the Mrs. Pac Man billboard and focuses less on the appeal of video games themselves as the Mrs. Pac Man bill board did, but more so on the machine. Advertising a machine relies on more traditional means of toy and entertainment device advertising, so it is less new than the Mrs. Pac Man advertisement and primarily targets the traditional avenue of gaming revenue: young boys. By 1997, the gaming industry had more or less solidified and established itself as a popular product for entertainment, and did not need as much exposure as the a comedic depiction of a video game character, but more a safe “tell your parents to get you this for Christmas”. The advertisement was initially printed in a November Newspaper, and clearly targets a Christmas audience with the fir branches and slogan likening the Game Boy Pocket Color to the classic Christmas carol “Joy to the World”, while also referencing a “White Christmas” in contrast to a colored Game Boy. These are nice wordplays, but altogether safe and bland, which is representative of the stability in the industry that occurred in just over a decade. By this time, marketers could not risk the excitement and revolution of a fledgling industry that relied on attention for survival, and so they preferred to make calm advertisements that would never stick in one’s mind past Christmas. There is no message, or draw, besides “here’s our product, now buy it for Christmas”, but it is good to see how the advertisement reflects the stability of the gaming industry.

 

Rather than reflecting the gaming industry, the video in this article for Nintendo Power Magazine is more representative of the general era. This advertisement is again clearly marketed towards young, excitable boys with its bizarre animations, dancing “cool kids” in sunglasses, brilliantly flashing lights, wacky wordings, loud announcers, and nonsensical gigantic explosions with fire. Though this commercial appeared in the 1990s, just as the Game Boy Color ad did, this advertises another aspect of the industry: critique and review. Similar to the television industry’s shows, physical sets, and critics, we have seen the video game industry has its games, consoles, and reviewers. But what is most different about the video game industry is this reviewing section, since the market for video games is niche relative to the television, and so the demand (and need) for review is far less). So, in order to garner readers and subscribers, magazines such as Nintendo Power needed to resort to more exciting advertisements, similar to the Mrs. Pac Man advertisement and contrary to the Game Boy Color advertisement. The commercial is, in a word, bizarre. But flashing lights are what capture the attentions of children, and so using this constant blaring of the brand name marketers can force the young mind to remember to buy their product. This technique is also used in other videos in the 1990s, such as music videos, other advertisements, buildings, and clothing. That was what worked during the decade, so that’s what was done for Nintendo Power.
The advertisements in the video game industry differ according to three factors: period, industry stability, and culture. This has been shown through the three different examples of ads that highlight each of these factors, and also what may occur when the factors overlap. Since the primary target audience of video games are young boys, advertisements are mainly made in order to appease the demographic, though there are exceptions to this case, but it reveals a weakness in the stagnancy of the industry as a whole for catering to a singular market, while the appeal could potentially expand across other sectors of the general population.

Works Cited

Atari. “Atari Presents the Woman of the Year”. Advertisement. 1983. Duke U. OAAA Slide Library. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Nintendo. “Boy to the World”. Advertisement. 1997. Academia.edu. Leo Burnett. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Nintendo. “Nintendo Power”. Advertisement. 1994. Wash U. Critical Gaming Project. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

The Wheel. Historical Ad Campaign Analysis

The Wheel is one of the most important creations/inventions ever. Without the wheel locomotion would be impossible and extremely difficult. The wheel is also a basis for new invention, with the most important use of the wheel in cars. The wheel was invented really early and was always being redesigned for something better than the original. The wheel is a tire that is attached in cars and selling it and promoting these tires would be difficult without the availability of very good technology at that time (1900’s). Hence, sources like magazines, newspapers and billboards would need to be used. I have looked at 3 companies that had released advertisements in the mid 1900’s. Armstrong Tires, Hartford Tires and Goodyear Tires.

The first ad has definitely done a good job in grabbing the customers attention. The title with the big font and text takes the attention of the customers. Right after that the big visual representation of the a ‘Rhino’ signifies strength and power. The Rhino on top of the tire is showing dominance and power and the tire is being compared to the Rhino, hence making the tire powerful and dominant over the others. The graphics definitely communicate the product, however, the information given is very technical and in my opinion doesn’t feel like it was for regular customers but intended for customers who have more technical knowledge about tires. Also the enlarging of the tire shows the technical details of the tire. Also the guarantee is boxed which means it has a lot of emphasis and people wouldn’t miss it, cause it has a shadow and ‘boxing’ it is like highlighting it. This shows how confident the company is with their tires. Also spreading awareness would be hard so this would be posters and and ads in newspapers and magazines due to amount of information present.

“A Last Look at Tire Ads – Today’s Inspiration.”1953. A Last Look at Tire Ads – Today’s Inspiration. Armstrong Rubber Company, 19 Nov. 2007. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
(Image link: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2233/2046593941_a420d0338e_b.jpg )

The second ad is of Goodyear Tires first year in business in the 1900’s. This advertisement of theirs is extremely simple with simple information that all customers would understand and also consists of all the things that people want to see in their car tires. ‘Perfection, Quality and Absolute Satisfaction’ with their product. That’s what Goodyear puts forth. The visual is the aesthetically appealing part of the add and catches your attention immediately and from there the first thing you look at are the adjectives you look for in any product placed right in the center of the poster. Also the addition of technical details in not very small text shows how they are first trying to build a reputation with a good product and then get to the technical for people who understand it. This way it serves both customers educated about tires and those not so educated about them. This poster is an initial poster and for any customer doesn’t offer any background to their company cause there is none. Its their first year and simple is their best step forward. Also they are looking for customers who are keen on their product by mentioning perks if interest is taken in their product by offering customers catalogs about their products and information to help them out.

“History of Early American Automobile Industry from 1861-1930.” Good Year. History of Early American Automobile Industry from 1861-1930. n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

The third ad is of the company Hartford tires in 1900. So their title is on the top right of the poster, however, the visual starts from the left and moves to the left taking you to the title which is ‘Hartford Tires’. From there the first box to the right talks about how the tires are worth the money and relate it to the economy. Also when overtime Hartford tires are mentioned it is capitalized and bolded putting more emphasis on the company. The ad is mainly for the customers as every detail on the advertisement is for the consumers, Value of money, and also the fact that the they are telling the consumers to be proud of themselves for owning their equipment; making them feel good about themselves. The audience for this ad is everyone as there is absolutely zero technicalities in the ad. This creates a downside as there are no technical details about the product people don’t know what the product is exactly. Just explaining to people about the excellence and worth of money is not enough. Some technical information is needed on the tire as well.

“History of Early American Automobile Industry from 1861-1930.” The Hartford Rubber Works Co. History of Early American Automobile Industry from 1861-1930. n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

All these advertisements are showing an improvement in the world of invention and creations.Going from Goodyear to Hartford to Armstrong, the technicalalities in each add increase and get more descriptive about the product as there is so much information to put in. With that we can see that the amount of information represented is greater as the ads get more technical and detailed and have more specific customers to reach out to. The wheel is such an integral part nowadays with so many cars and the amount of accidents that happen, getting good tires would definitely be an important plan for all manufacturing car companies for the safety of their consumers.

Historical Advertisements

When it was first introduced to the drug market, there were several issues that affected the sale and advertisement of the birth control pill. There was significant debate over the safety as well as the morality of oral contraceptive usage for years after its FDA approval in 1960. The pill was not marketed directly to consumers in its early stages of sale, but instead it was advertised to doctors who would then prescribe it to women. Because of these issues there are not substantial amounts of advertisements that can be found from the early decades of sale.

One of the few early advertisements is for Envoid, the first brand of the pill to be sold. It is marketed toward doctors rather than the women who will use the product. The ad is rather simple, containing a small drawing of a women, the product name and slogan, and descriptive information regarding the function and benefits for the doctor’s patients. The creators of this advertisement perhaps had in mind that their customers were doctors with their own existing knowledge about birth control methods, and who would most likely not be using the product themselves. Therefore, in order to be persuasive, logos and ethos are more prevalent than pathos in the ad. The logos exists in the description of how the regulation of menstruation is beneficial to women, and the ethos in the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of Envoid. There is an element of pathos when the ad tells physicians that their patients will be grateful if they are to be prescribed this product. But there is a lack of visual pathos hat might be evident in an ad directed at the women who use the product.

What is interesting to note about this ad is that it does not promote the contraceptive aspects of the pill, but instead focuses solely on the fact that it can delay menstruation for the purpose of “convenience” and “peace of mind.” The ad completely ignores the primary purpose of the pill, possibly due to the large number of people who were against the prevention of pregnancy in its early stages. Doctors of the early 60s who had strong moral views about birth control would have been difficult to persuade into prescribing Envoid using the rhetoric surrounding pregnancy prevention. While this ad provides a limited amount of insight into the actual function of the product, it does provide insight into the social context surrounding the introduction of the birth control pill. There existed stigma against the pill and marketers had to find ways around that to successfully promote their products.

The advertisement that came up most frequently in searches is for Ortho-Novum. This ran in 1993, decades after the first sales of the pill, yet still one of the earliest ads directed at women that were easily found in records. The focal point of the ad is a photograph of pills laid out in a circle next to the line, “We’ve come full circle since 1960.” This acts both as a way to grab the attention of the audience as well a form of ethos. The circle of pills is a recognizable image because it resembles the way that these pills are packaged in the circle that tells women when to take the pill. This also establishes ethos for the company by saying that it continues to consistently what it did in 1960, which is provide an effective form of birth control that also provides additional health benefits. The differences between this early 90s ad and the 1960 ad are quite noticeable. With the change audience, there is a change in the rhetoric and the method of marketing. The Ortho-Novum ad includes no discussion of the chemicals, the dosage, or the scientific explanation of how the pill works. It instead advocates for the benefits that this pill has to offer women and presents in a way that would be easy for any non-physician to understand.

What this advertisement also accomplishes is a look into how the social contexts of the 90s was different from that of the 60s regarding the pill. The Ortho-Novum ad is able to discuss the contraceptive benefits primarily because the stigma against birth control had a less overwhelming presence socially. From the beginning the 1993 ad mentions that the pill “changed women’s lives” and gave them “reproductive control.” By the 90s, women had for some time been speaking out and using language such as reproductive control to fight the legal and social battle over birth control. The advertisers are using language that will resonate emotionally with women who can relate to the idea that they deserve to have control over their own bodies.

A third ad, from 1996, also contains both visual and verbal elements that act as pathos directed at women. This ad for Ortho Tri-Cyclen contains the headline “A birth control pill that’s in tune with your body.” It also features a painting of a bouquet of flowers the covers a large portion of the page. This can be interpreted as an appeal to women’s belief in their right to reproductive control. The product is promoted as a pill that is in tune with a woman’s body, as opposed to those who are against birth control who are not in tune and do not show respect toward a woman’s body. The flower seems to be an attempt to represent nature and promote the idea that this product is natural, rather than a drug made in a lab, and works naturally and safely with the body to prevent pregnancy. This ad reaches out to women by exploiting what women are most drawn to when it comes to birth control using pathos.

Work Cited

G.D Searle & Company. “Envoid.” Advertisement. Obstetrics and Gynecology 16 Nov. 1960. PubMed. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation. “Ortho-Novum 777.” Advertisement. Vogue 1 Mar. 1993: 266. Proquest Historical Newspapers. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation. “Ortho Tri-Cyclen.” Advertisement. Vogue 1 Nov. 1996: 210. Proquest Historical Newspapers. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Watkins, Elizabeth Siegel. “How the Pill Became a Lifestyle Drug: The Pharmaceutical Industry and Birth Control in the United States Since 1960.” American Journal of Public Health 102.8 (2012): 1462-472. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Ad Analysis: Energy Drinks

Energy drink companies have been one of the most attacked targets for their decisive marketing practices. This attack comes as a result of pinpointed advertising that makes lofty promises to susceptible youth. Many energy drink companies encourage young males to purchase their beverages by suggesting that their drinks have stimulant effects that increase endurance, performance, and attention. The most dominant companies in the segment are also partnering with organizations and individuals involved in extreme sports and activities in effort to increase their credibility as a stimulating and active beverage. As a result of these practices, both the media and the government have begun to disseminate and condemn these undertakings.

While the broader advertising patterns mentioned above try to appeal to a wide cross-section of the population, the advertisements featured here target a much more niche audience. The following advertisements come from Triathlete magazine. Therefore, one must take into account the typical demographic that reads Triathlete magazine when reading an overall evaluation of their energy drink advertisements. The most obvious yet most important fact about triathlete magazine is that triathletes themselves consist of the overwhelming majority of readers. As such, this makes the demographic of the magazine extremely homogenous in a quite few different ways. First, the readers are interested in maintaining an active lifestyle and place an emphasis on health. The readers also enjoy competition and are proficient swimmers, bikers, and runners. These readers enjoy discovering ways to increase their competitive edge over their peers. Finally, as training for a triathlon requires a lot of time and a sizable amount of money, these readers are at the minimum middle class and most likely tend to have sufficient economic security. This homogeneity makes is especially easy for marketers to design advertisements to place in Triathlete magazine.

The first advertisement comes from Now Spots and promotes their “L-Carninitine” energy liquid. This half-page print advertisement utilizes a molten inspired color palate that subconsciously highlights the vitamins and minerals used in their drink. The advertisement builds pathos by showing a pack of male and female triathletes participating in the running portion of the race. Within that group there is one man that is ahead of the others. The problem is that this gap is fairly subtle and it is not immediately clear that his lead is a result of his increased energy from drinking the energy drink. The audience of Triathlete magazine will be able to connect with the situation depicted and will strive to be the man in front. Additionally, this advertisement demonstrates ethos by describing the mission of the brand and by including the year in which the company was founded. Still, the overall layout and design of the advertisement is rather amateurish and does not leave the reader overly eager to go out and purchase the product. A final design flaw is that the disclaimer, that says the FDA did not verify the statements made in the advertisement, is the same size as the promotional text. The advertisement would be improved if this notice were incorporated in a way that was more obscure.

The second advertisement is from the company GU and promotes their energy gel. This is a full, two-page print advertisement. The majority of the ad is dominated by an image of a middle-aged lady who just competed a triathlon and is smiling with her hands in the air. The image is very zoomed-in and does not show any context of the race. The image features a small caption in the bottom left corner that says, “Miranda Carfrae, 3x IRONMAN World Champion, Fueled by GU and Roctane since 2010”. The main problem is that while this statement does build ethos, the connection between the product and her win is not prominent enough. On the left sixth of the page is the only portion of the advertisement to which the image does not extend. That small section contains the company logo, a small picture of the product, and the texts “Congratulations Rinny!” and “Great things come in small packages”. The way in which this entire section is planned out and integrated is very crude and unprofessional. The font choice, white background, and slogan are all very uninspiring and appear to have been chosen without much thought. That being said, the primary issue with this advertisement is that it does not offer the reader any information about the product or convey solid logos. The only knowledge the reader obtains about GU is that it is small and that a winning triathlete uses it.

The standout advertisement is from Gatorade and promotes their Endurance formula. One of the most noteworthy features of this ad is that it achieves a nearly perfect balance between text and imagery so that neither dominates the other and both work together in harmony. The layout consists of four equally sized images, each showing a runner in a distinct environment. This demonstrates pathos because most readers of triathlete magazine are able to make a connection to the advertisement when they see another runner. The way in which these images are arranged is very clever in that each photo leads the viewer’s eyes towards the center, where there is a perfectly sized picture of the product. Above the product photo is a slogan that is witty yet easy to grasp. The designers selected colors that are eye-catching yet show restraint. Likewise, the font that is utilized is sophisticated yet it maintains a contemporary flair. The advertisement conveys a sense of ethos through the quality and sophistication of the ad itself and by incorporating the Gatorade name. One of the most intelligent choices the designers included was information on where to buy the product. While all the ads take into account the demographic to which they are marketing to, this advertisement is definitely the exceptional one of the group as it is clear, professional, concise, informative, and cohesive.

 Works Cited

Gatorade Endurance. Advertisement. Triathlete Nov. 2014: 22. Print.

GU Energy Gel. Advertisement. Triathlete Oct. 2014: 18-19. Print.

Now Sports. Advertisement. Triathlete Dec. 2014: 24-25. Print.

Blog #3 – Second Revision

Code-switching is the practice of switching between languages or vernacular in conversation. In Matt Thompson’s article “Five Reasons Why People Code-Switch” he describes fitting in as a major reason why people code-switch. He states that “Very often, people code-switch – both consciously and unconsciously – to act or talk more like those around them…” I agree with this statement as a major reason why people code-switch. I have witnessed this type of code-switching first hand, when listening to the conversations my mother has with people of other ethnicities.

I often notice my mother code-switching when talking to people of other races other than Indian. To me, it is very obvious: her voice becomes a bit higher and she pronounces certain words differently because she feels she needs to compensate for her heavy Indian accent.

This is only noticeable to our family (and I’d assume a few of her friends) because we know how she speaks around us. Around us, she doesn’t care if she is messing up her English grammar, as long as she gets her point across. For example, she will often say things like “Go to Indian store and pick up all vegetables on list.” Notice anything funny? She struggles to incorporate articles such as “the” when she speaks English. The case is not that she doesn’t know how to use articles, rather for the sake of convenience she doesn’t attempt to use them. Around others, however, she is often careful about what she says as she doesn’t want to let out improper English.

Around us she will often try to use common sayings, and fail miserably. In our conversation about studying hard in college, she said, “You have to hit head on the nail.” Although I understood her message, I still died laughing. She understands that she has not mastered English, however, for this reason she does not feel comfortable speaking with native speakers.

Thompson describes code-switching to fit in, both consciously and unconsciously. It is difficult to tell whether my mom does this consciously or unconsciously. There may have been a certain point where my mother code-switched enough to make it an unconscious habit. For example, when she first came to this country, to avoid scrutiny, she began to code-switch – with the symptoms depicted above. However, she may be at a point where whenever around other ethnic groups, she will code-switch to fit in. So, at a certain point, it is possible that code-switching can go from a conscious decision to an unconscious one. Some examples of code-switching may not be as clearly definable as others, like in the case of my mother’s code-switching.

Code-switching can indicate certain qualities in a person, and at the surface, these qualities may seem negative. For example, one may deduce from my mother’s code-switching that she gives a great deal of importance to people’s judgments. At times it may seem that she has low self-confidence. While these statements may hold some truth, it is perfectly normal to code-switch to fit in. Humans have evolved as a social species, with each of us playing an integral role in society. As a result, it is likely that the desire to belong is a human characteristic, and so code-switching – especially in the case of unconscious code-switching – makes sense in the context of human nature. Therefore, although caring about what people think about you is not something that should characterized as a good quality, there is an unconscious aspect to it that might just be out of our hands.

The Evolution of Cell Phone Marketing

The object I chose to study on is the phone. The concept and the idea of being able to talk to someone without actually having to be physically present intrigued me and made me want to find out more about the devices today by analyzing and learning of how it originated.

The first advertisement is that of the Motorola DynaTAC 800x which was released in 1983. This is a television advertisement presenting the item to the public at $3995. The advertisement is in the form of a message to the viewers and the targeted audience mainly includes the businessmen, businesswomen and influential government authorities, who could actually afford the phone. The advertisement begins with a man in a suit driving a vintage Mercedes talking on the cell phone. Throughout the one-minute long promotional video scenes like these keep flashing while a man reads out the message added to it in monotone. The advertisement includes scenes where there are people walking up and down the stairs to a building or even at the dinner table proving that this phone is portable. Through the lines spoken during the advertisement the viewer is made aware that the phone is portable and that they were on the brink of a cellular revolution at the time. During the advertisement, in the later half, there is a scene where the narrator says that the phone weighs only 30 oz. and the tone depicts exclamation, which to us today will be a heavy phone. The ad shows that at that time only a certain percentage of the population could afford such an expensive phone. Even through the comparison drawn between checking time on a digital watch and using the mobile phone shows that in that age this was going to be the biggest technological breakthrough. The biggest assumption this advertisement has made is that this device had (in that time) become a necessity for businessmen and women and that sooner or later the rest of the population would also follow suit. The advertisement also shows that at the time there were only a few thousand phones in circulation while now there might be a few billion. This shows the evolution of the mobile phone from then to now.

The second advertisement is one, which was displayed on the billboards in 1985. This advertisement by Cellular One Car Phones reads: “Traffic Crawling? Start Callin’.” 1985 was still new to the concept of cellular phones and the devices with which you could talk without being stuck to one place therefore in order for people to buy such a product the company Cellular One Car Phones came up with this advertisement. This ad is directed at a much larger audience than the first advertisement, thus catering to a larger market. While analyzing the two articles we can also see the shift in emphasis of the target audience for companies. In 1983, the first advertisement dealt only with businessmen and women without targeting the public at large but the second advertisement targeted the public at large. So what changed in those couple of years? There are two possible and plausible explanations for this. One, that the manufacturers tinkered with the existing pieces and cut down on their production cost thus causing a subsequent and dramatic change in the selling price of the phone or two, that the people seeing other people use it felt that they would also be better off buying the car phone at the existing 1983 price. Thus upgrading the phone from an accessory to a necessity and causing a subsequent hike in demand.

The third advertisement is a magazine article, which was released in 1943 at the time of the Second World War. This advertisement is for the radiotelephone, which had created a rage during the war. This gadget had made communication during the war so much easier and the company, which had manufactured this device now wanted to introduce a prototype into the commercial market and see what effects it had. This advertisement creates an imaginative scenario in which they are making people hopeful for the unexplored aspects of communication, which might occur in the future. The tag line for this particular advertisements reads “Buses will have ‘phones!” and this was not the only article released by the company but there were two more in which they had presented two new scenarios with the help of ‘Planes’ and ‘Streamliners’. This advertisement shows that people in the 1940s did not have any medium of contacting anyone once they stepped out of their house.

All of the above articles show the various stages in the production and marketing of the cellular phone. The last article being the first to be released in Time magazine in 1943 presents an almost impossible picture of the future. However with the prototype of the radiotelephone already in use during the war it did not seem so unrealistic. The second article shows that even in 1983 the modern version of the cellular phone was miles away and they had launched the car phone. Even in the second advertisement the gadget does not advance in technology that much but just becomes more accessible by the public.

All three articles show that the mobile phone, which today has become such an integral part of our lives never, existed in the way it does today until a few decades ago. Sometimes I wonder if I would be a part of that nearly pre-historic telegraph and telegram era would I be hopeful for the future of communication or not?

Works Cited:

Mixed Goodies. “1980s mobile phone Tv Ad.” Online video clip.

YouTube. YouTube, 11 Sep. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

” These Vintage Cell Phone Ads Will Make You Even More Grateful For The iPhone 5.” Businessinsider.com. Businessinsider.com, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Cellular One Car Phones. “Traffic Crawling? Start callin’” [SLA2498]. Advertisement. 1985. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Jefferson-Travis Radio Manufacturing Corporation. “Buses will have ‘phones!” [R0840]. Advertisement. 1943. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Microwave Advertisement Study

In the late fifties and early sixties, back when the microwave oven was first invented and marketed, very clear and unwavering gender roles were deeply rooted into American culture. Men worked to provide for and protect his family, while the women stayed at home, tending to the children and the home, and cooking meals for the family. As such, advertisements of that era pertaining to home appliances were centered on the idea that women would be operating it, but men would be buying it. The microwave oven, as a result, had to be marketed as a masculine and alluring product, to entice the men to buy it, but also helpful enough in the kitchen to convince the men that buying one would be a great favor to his wife. Although the microwave did eventually become a gender-neutral appliance, it started as a device to aid women in their duties, with no intention of changing the long-standing gender roles.

In the early sixties, when microwaves we beginning to popularize, Thermador launched an ad campaign designed to convince men to buy their microwave buy painting it as a symbol of manhood. This was one of the first advertisements that tailored to the male gender role, in an attempt to persuade the man to buy the microwave for his wife or other female pursuits. This ad depicts a suave, seemingly wealthy man looking confidently down at a beautiful woman, who is mesmerized by the size of his microwave. On the picture itself, the only words float above the microwave and read, “STACKED for convenience.” This very obviously phallic image suggests that your microwave is directly related to your masculinity. The description below the picture is heavily sexualized, with words like, “intimate, appeal, and exotic,” to further ingrain the idea that a true ladies man buys a Thermador microwave. Since gender roles were a much more universally accepted construct in the fifties and sixties, references to those roles, and just blatant sexism, was much more prominent and less hidden. Modern advertisements, for example, may still discriminate or build off of sexist notions, but it is much more well masked, working either subtly or subliminally, to get across the same message that is so nonchalantly displayed in this old Thermador advertisement.

Another advertisement made by Swanson markets microwave dinners by directly targeting wives. This ad shows a husband coming home from golf who brought back his buddy as a spur-of-the-moment invitation to dinner. Since the wife has Swanson’s microwave dinners, she can quickly and easily set another plate and have enough food to serve her husband’s friend, making her a hero in her husband’s eyes. This marketing strategy relies around the idea that it is a wife’s paramount responsibility and joy to cater to the whims of her husband and make him happy. To a certain degree, this advertisement dehumanizes women by insinuating that women have no personal agendas, and instead exist to serve the man she married.

As time went by, sexism in the public sphere became less blatant, but still remained quite prevalent. Amana’s advertisement for their Radarange Microwave Oven has actress Barbara Hale testifying that the microwave is the “greatest cooking discovery since fire.” This ad, although less outwardly discriminatory, still furthers the sexist framework of American gender roles buy using a famous women to convince other women to stay in the kitchen and purchase a microwave. The bottom half of the advertisement features a variety of women cooking various foods in their microwaves, with instructions below each image. Displaying multiple women cooking many different meals works to convince those who read this advertisement that using microwaves in the kitchen is a very commonplace and expected activity in the daily life a housewife. The subtlety of this ad proves that although sexism may not be so aggressively brazen in all cases, it is still very present throughout American media.

Looking back through our history, it is baffling to see just how discriminatory and sexist American culture was only fifty years ago. Not to say that sexism does not exist today, but it is certainly not as fundamental to daily life as it once was. The power that American media has as an agent of influence and social change is nearly boundless in a world in which television and tabloids are so deeply ingrained into people’s lives. This power certainly lives up to its name in the case of microwave advertisements. The microwave was marketed as a tool to ease to strain of the woman’s duties and please her husband, and so it was used as such.

Works Cited

Amana. Click Americana. N.p., n.d. Web. 1959.

Swanson. Mortal Journey. N.p., n.d. Web. 1953.

Thermador. Man’s Life Jan. 1958: n. pag. Print.